posted on 9/2011 By:
Does anyone else find it odd that there aren’t more bands that knock off Bolt Thrower? I mean there’s got to be hundreds of Morbid Angel, Deicide, Cannibal Corpse and Suffocation clones. But when it comes to bands that have a tangible Bolt Thrower sound (and not just metal about war like Hail of Bullets),you’ve got a band from Turkey (Burial Invocation), a band from California (Acepahlix) and a band from Arizona in Landmine Marathon. (Though I’m sure you lashers will tell me otherwise.) And with album number four, Landmine Marathon continues their underrated assault of burly death/thrash metal that’s far less commercial or trendy than most of their female-fronted contemporaries, and they continue to improve with each release.
With a nice new slightly tweaked logo and striking cover art (courtesy of Rob Middleton), and a new drummer, Landmine Marathon’s music is the perfect balance between old-school death metal, some crust and some modern thrash akin to Walls of Jericho, but to be honest, Landmine Marathon is easily the most brutal of all the higher-profile female-fronted metal acts, with maybe the exception of Cerebral Bore. And yes, that includes Arch Enemy. Of note, new drummer Andy York appears to have injected some real ferocity into Landmine Marathon’s already destructive sound.
The eight songs don’t waste any time with intros or interludes, but simply rumble and tumble with the feral tenacity of a honey badger dangling from your scrotum. Openers “3 Snake Leaves” and “Cutting Flesh and Bone” are snarling crusty numbers that would fit nicely next to the likes of All Pigs Must Die, Acephalix, Planks , Summon the Crows or other Southern Lord crust -- they start the album with a bang and set the tone for many of the subsequent, unrelenting tracks. “”Knife From my Sleeve” slows things down initially with a moody slow burn, but for the most part, the album is a seething ball of hate.
“Well what about the Bolt Thrower influence?” I hear you cry. Well, go to “Dead Horses” -- how about that blast beat and groove and 1:30? Remind you of someone? Or the mid-song groove of “Beaten and Left Blind”? Or the opening riff of closer “Morbidity”. Folks, this is as tangibly Bolt Thrower as anything out there, but Landmine Marathon doesn’t beat it to death or rely on it, preferring it to emerge from the landslides of crust and blasts to slow things down to a perfectly paced lurch. I just wish they’d cut to the chase and go ahead and cover “War Master” or “Cenotaph” and get it over with.
This is one of the few female-fronted bands that can go toe-to-toe with the big boys and not (despite MTV and Decibel’s efforts) use Grace Perry as trophy singer. I’ve enjoyed watching Landmine Marathon get some well deserved recognition and grow from a rather forgetful, if noisy, band with Wounded to this burgeoning monster on the cusp of greatness.
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3/16/2010 Landmine Marathon
Rusted Eyes Awake
10/27/2008 Landmine Marathon